Is there a Christian way to protest?

Is there a Christian way to protest? A demonstrator holds a crucifix during a protest against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua May 15, 2018. (OSV News photo/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters)

Our President, Michael D. Higgins, let himself and the rest of us badly down with his recent comments about protests at public libraries. Sensible people are concerned about the highly inappropriate and sexualised, not to say obscene, material being pushed at children in the 12-17 year old children’s sections these days.

Not the President, though. He referred to ‘books being torn up’ by ‘vigilantes, attempting to impose a censorship based on ignorance and exclusion.’ Backed up by Forsa trade union, he called for the protection of libraries and library staff from ‘intimidation and protest.’

Since most of that sounds reasonable, why am I saying that this presidential pronouncement deserves, well, no respect? Could it be because of his failure to address the child protection question? I have seen some of these books, and their content is unquotable, though sadly not unprintable.

The shipping of this material into libraries is the State-sponsored corporatised grooming of children for sexual activity, under the guise of helping people in their personal development. In that light, the rudeness of some protestors and the performative tearing up of a book that someone had purchased for the purpose, is really beside the point.

It’s also rather ironic that our President, who made a career out of noisy activism, should call for the protection of public institutions from ‘protest.’ What, not even outside?

So, is there a ‘Christian’ way to protest? Left-wing agitators don’t always manage to separate the politics they disagree with from the person behind it. They resent you because they hate what you believe in.

‘Woke’ politics is all about that Marxist-inspired, aggressive, conflictual approach to difference of opinion. You take down, you cancel the person in order to squash their ideas and erase any influence they might have. There’s no time, no room and no desire for dialogue.

Christianity posits a different approach. Behind the cause we disagree with are persons and groups we must care for. Violence is out. Destruction of other-people’s property is out. Abusive language is out.

All that said, people have been too passive to date of the anti-culture that the Government and agencies of state are pushing at us. Perhaps, more than I used to, I welcome the raucous. But if we are to keep to Christian standards of respect for others, we need creativity.


Is the Rule of Law breaking down in Mayo?

The sight of a County Coroner, a local solicitor of long-standing, pointing his finger in anger in a public place and accusing a young woman of being “the scum of the earth,” is alarming. Some context here: the woman in question was one of the activist Burke family who, even when they are correct on some points, present themselves and their issues in ways that show very little respect for other people, get everyone’s backs up and hurt the very causes they are trying to promote.

Ms Burke clearly annoyed the Coroner last week. He is seen ‘losing it’ on the street in Castlebar in the Burkes’ own recorded and edited video. The family claims that Ms Burke was arrested shortly afterwards, her phone taken away, brought to a closed sitting of the District Court in Swinford, convicted and fined.

So, did the wheels of justice roll into the ditch in Mayo or are the Burkes telling a selective story? The truth will come out, and I predict another court case. It may come down to a determination of what constitutes ‘threatening, abusive or insulting’ behaviour under the Public Order legislation. On the video, we hear Ms Burke advising the Coroner and a local Garda that they will “answer to God” for their actions. Could those be the offending words? Because that raises the question, ‘Won’t we all?’


Did we vote for this?

In case you thought the recent Referendum results had blunted the Government’s enthusiasm for socially controversial legislation, or softened their cough around undermining motherhood, get this: in the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill going through the Seanad, there’s a big green light for domestic and international surrogacy.

The Government proposes to permit any couple, same sex or heterosexual, or any single man over the age of 21, to commission the ‘creation’ of a child using a surrogate mother. The surrogate may not provide the egg containing the genetic material for the child, and the child brought into being must have at least one genetic parent (the single male contracting, or one male or female member of the couple).

Most countries ban surrogacy because, every which way, it involves the exploitation of a woman for her child-carrying capacity, generally for money, with no thought of where it leaves her, or of the fact that the children involved are deprived of at least one of their genetic parents, of their natural mothers, of the possibility of breast-feeding and many other things. Forever.

The Government pretends that it’s not ‘commercial surrogacy,’ since only ‘reasonable expenses’ are allowed. But these can run into tens of thousands of euros to judge by the international experience. Fact is, you never see rich women carrying babies for poorer women.

It’s always the other way around. Surrogacy exploits poorer women in poorer countries. The reason the Government is legislating for international surrogacy is that there are not enough financially disadvantaged women available in Ireland for exploitation in this way.

Could there be an ‘even worse’ bit? Thanks to the 2015 Gender Recognition Act, a male who registers his ‘preferred gender’ as female may use this new law to contract with a surrogate using his own sperm and a donated female egg. Once the surrogacy is recognised and a ‘parental order’ made, the commissioning male will be able to have himself registered as the parent, indeed the ‘mother’ of the child.

You remember voting for this, don’t you? Don’t you?